Google Analytics Shortcuts: Tricks, Tools, keyboard & APIs

 

I am going to give you some quick tips and shortcuts to use Google Analytics more efficiently which I have discovered/developed over time.

 Index (What you will learn in this post)

  1. Accessing Google Analytics Reports with Lightning Speed
  2. Built-in Keyboard Shortcuts in Google Analytics (New)
  3. Navigating in Google Analytics via Shortcuts
  4. Customizing Google Analytics through Built-in Report Shortcuts (New)
  5. Shortcuts for Real Time Reports (New)
  6. Recently Viewed Reports in Google Analytics (New)
  7. REGEX to quickly filter data within reporting interface
  8. Using Custom Reports to quickly access the desired data
  9. Google Analytics Tools to boost your productivity
  10. Using Google Analytics APIs for fastest Information Retrieval

 

Accessing Google Analytics Reports with Lightning Speed

I have around 10 user accounts and some 50+ website profiles in my Google Analytics account and accessing them every day, several times used to be quite frustrating.  So I came up with bunch of solutions:

Solution-1: Create a Bookmarks Folder in your Browser for Analytics Reports

Create a bookmarks folder in your Firefox browser (still use it for the work purpose) so that you can quickly access various important reports of your clients. As long as I remember, bookmarking individual reports wasn’t possible in the past in Google Analytics. But now it is possible:

Through such bookmarks you can easily access any report of any client with just one click (provided you are already logged in).  You can directly assess any report whether standard or custom report and even access the dashboards.

 

Solution-2: Use ‘Open All in Tabs’ feature of your Browser

To open all the reports of a client in one go, use ‘open all in tabs’ feature like this:

 In the image above, I just right clicked on the bookmarks folder named ‘Event Education Reports’ and then selected the ‘open all in tabs’ option.  In this way you can open all of the reports of your client in one go.

 

Solution-3: Use Firefox Add-on ‘Site Launcher’ to create Keyboard Shortcuts

You can also use keyboard shortcuts to open a particular Google analytics report. Here is how:

Step-1: Open firefox browser and install the firefox add-on SiteLauncher. This add-on let you access your bookmarks through keyboard shortcuts.

Step-2:  Once you have installed this add-on, open the analytics report you want to open through a keyboard shortcut.

Step-3: Go to ‘Site Launcher’ menu > ‘Shortcut this Page’

 

This will open the ‘site launcher Management’ dialog box:

Step-4: Enter the name of your report in the ‘title’ field and the one letter shortcut key in the ‘key field. Click on the ‘Add Shortcut’ button and then the ‘ok’ button. You have now created your first keyboard shortcut for an analytics report. Create similar shortcuts for other analytics reports.

 

Step-5: Now open the launcher by pressing  CTRL+Space buttons on your keyboard. The launcher will look like this (by default):

You can now see all your reports at one place along with the shortcut keys. Now all you have to do is type ‘c’ to open the ‘content overview’ report, type ‘d’ to open the dashboard, type ‘t’ to open the ‘traffic sources analytics custom report’ and so on.  Every time you want to access a report, just open this launcher by pressing CTRL+SPACE,  see the shortcut key and then type it to open the report. So you don’t need to remember even the shortcut key for each report.  However if you do wish to remember shortcut keys, then use ALT+SHIFT+{ your short-cut-key}. For example press ALT+SHIFT+c to quickly launch the ‘Content Overview’ report.

If you have only one account to manage then you can put the shortcuts to all the important reports on this launcher panel. If you have multiple accounts with multiple profiles then i would suggest you to only add shortcuts to each website account/profile otherwise there will be lot of cluttering on the launcher panel and you will not be able to access the reports as fast as you would like to.

 

Built-in Keyboard Shortcuts in Google Analytics

Google Analytics also provide a handy list of shortcuts which you can use to perform variety of tasks like: quickly change data range or date comparison mode. To see the list of all available keyboard shortcuts press ‘?’ key on your keyboard. You will then see a screen similar to the one below:

google-analytics-keyboard-s

 Select the task you want to perform from the shortcuts list and then press the appropriate keys on your keyboard. For example if you want to set the date range of your analytics report to today then press ‘d’ followed by ‘t’. The keyboard shortcuts are pretty easy to use.  Just try them and you will know what they do. Press the ESCAPE key if you want to cancel the current operation or close the ‘keyboard shortcuts’ dialog box.

 

Navigating in Google Analytics via Shortcuts

Ninjas strike very fast and analytics ninjas need to maintain the same speed in order to honor their title. So   it is imperative that we move around within Google Analytics like a true Ninja - Himanshu ;)

type-the-domain-name

The fastest way to access a report from Google Analytics Account Home page is to type the name of the account/profile whose report you want to access and press the enter key.  ‘Audience Overview’ is the first report you see when you access an account/profile via Google Analytics Account Home page.

audience-overview

If you quickly want to access any report from the ‘Audience overview’ report then remember the name of the report you want to access, type it in the text box as shown above and press enter.  Over time I have come up with some names which take me to my desired report straightaway. For example if I type ‘all’ in the text box and press enter, I can quickly access the ‘All Traffic Sources’ report:

 

Following is a list of such reports shortcuts:

Note: I have listed the shortcuts of only those reports which I frequently use.

SNO.

Google Analytics Report Shortcuts

Which Report it opens

1

Overview

Visitors Overview Report

2

Location

Location Report

3

New

New vs Returning report

4

Frequency

Frequency & Recency Report

5

Engage

Engagement Report

6

Social

Social Engagement Report

7

Mobile

Mobile Overview Report

8

flow

Visitors Flow Report

9

Adwords

Adwords Campaigns Report

10

Traffic

Traffic Sources Overview Report

11

All

All Traffic Report

12

Direct

Direct Traffic Report

13

Referral

Referral Traffic Report

14

Search / o

Search Overview Report

15

Organic

Organic Search Traffic Report

16

Paid

Paid Search Traffic Report

17

Sources /c

Campaigns Report

18

Search Engine

Search Engine optimization Queries Report

19

Content

Content Overview Report

20

Content / l

Content Landing Pages Report

21

Site Search

Site Search Overview Report

22

Events

Events Overview Report

23

Adsense

Adsense Overview Report

24

In-

In Page Analytics Report

25

Goals

Goals Overview Report

26

Goal url

Goal URLs Report

27

Funnel

Funnel Visualization Report

28

Goal flow

Goal flow report

29

e-

Ecommerce Overview Report

30

Product

Product performance report

31

Sales

Sales performance report

32

Trans

Transactions Report

33

Multi

Multi Channel Funnel overview Report

34

Assist

Assisted Conversions Report

35

Top conversion

Top Conversion Paths Report

It may look like too many shortcuts to remember but once you start using them on daily basis, you will remember them. The best way to memorize these shortcuts is to remember the name of the report you are looking at in Google Analytics and type the name of the report in the text box, the next time you want to access them. In this way you can remember more than half of the aforesaid shortcuts.

Note: The Fastest way to access custom reports is through the ‘open all in tabs’ feature of your browser as described above.

 

Customizing Google Analytics through Built-in Report Shortcuts

Through Google Analytics Shortcuts you can save almost any customization to an analytics report. You can save a report as a ‘shortcut’ along with filters, advanced segments, dimensions and other customization you have applied to it. So next time when you access the report via ‘shortcuts’ menu you can view the report along with your customization.

 To create a Report shortcut follow the steps below:

Step-1: Navigate to a report and customize it through filters, advanced segments, dimensions etc.

Step-2: Click on the shortcut button at the top navigation bar and then enter the name of the new shortcut:

report-shortcut-button

shortcut-name
 Step-3: You can now access your report shortcut under the ‘shortcuts’ menu:

shortcuts-menu

Note: You can’t add every report to the Shortcuts menu. For example you can’t add the dashboards,  Flow Visualization reports, Funnel Visualization or Multi-channel Funnel reports to the Shortcuts menu.

 

Shortcuts for Real Time Reports

You can also create shortcuts for real time reports in Google Analytics. Follow the steps below:

Step-1: Navigate to a Real Time Report (like ‘Traffic Sources’) and then click on the ‘create shortcut’ link at the top right and then enter the name for the new shortcut:

real-time-reports-shortcut

 real-time-report-name

 Step-2: You can now access your real time report shortcut under the ‘shortcuts’ menu:

real-time-reports-menu

Recently Viewed Reports in Google Analytics

You can now navigate to recently used reports through the ‘Recent History’ feature provided in the sidebar of Google Analytics:

recently-viewed-reports

Use REGEX to quickly filter data within reporting interface

Love it or hate it, REGEX (or regular expressions) is the way to go to segment data in Google Analytics. You can filter the data without REGEX too but it is just too time consuming (and sometime impractical) and ninjas are not slow people. I find REGEX so useful that I had to write Encyclopedia of Regular Expressions for SEO .  Check out this post to know all about REGEX for SEO. Following are some REGEX you will find useful and handy while filtering data within reporting interface:

SNO.

Action

Solution

1

Filter 1 word keyword phrase

^[^\.\s\-]+([\.\s\-]+[^\.\s\-]+){0}$

2

Filter 2 words keyword phrase

^[^\.\s\-]+([\.\s\-]+[^\.\s\-]+){1}$

3

Filter 3 words keyword phrase

^[^\.\s\-]+([\.\s\-]+[^\.\s\-]+){2}$

4

Filter 4 words keyword phrase

^[^\.\s\-]+([\.\s\-]+[^\.\s\-]+){3}$

5

Filter 5 words keyword phrase

^[^\.\s\-]+([\.\s\-]+[^\.\s\-]+){4}$

6

Filter 6 words keyword phrase

^[^\.\s\-]+([\.\s\-]+[^\.\s\-]+){5}$

7

Filter 7 words keyword phrase

^[^\.\s\-]+([\.\s\-]+[^\.\s\-]+){6}$

8

Filter 8 words keyword phrase

^[^\.\s\-]+([\.\s\-]+[^\.\s\-]+){7}$

9

Filter 9 words keyword phrase

^[^\.\s\-]+([\.\s\-]+[^\.\s\-]+){8}$

10

Filter 10 words keyword phrase

^[^\.\s\-]+([\.\s\-]+[^\.\s\-]+){9}$

11

Include/exclude branded keywords

(v?irgin ?atlantic)|virgin|atlantic

Replace ‘virgin atlantic’ by your domain name in the format as specified above.

12

Include/exclude Social Media Traffic

(facebook|twitter|stumbleupon|linkedin|t\.co|goo\.gl|plus\.google)\.com

 

Use Custom Reports to quickly access the desired data

Google Analytics custom report is a quick way to get the desired data. The Standard Reports provided by Google Analytics will not always show you what you want to see in your reports straightaway. You may have to do lot of tweaking within the reporting interface to get the data in the desired format. So it is imperative that you use custom reports. The biggest advantage of custom reports is that they let you tie conversions/revenue with your desired metric and dimension. For example through custom reports you can easily determine the keywords which have highest Goal conversion rate or which are assisting in user engagement. Check the Quick Start Guide for Custom Reporting for more details.

 

Google Analytics Tools to boost your productivity

SNO

Action

Tool

1

Automate event tracking in Google Analytics.

Analytics Engine

Check this post for more details: How to Automate Event Tracking in Google Analytics

2

Simplify setting up GA account, Goals and KPIs

GAConfig

3

Create campaign URLs without making mistake

Google Analytics URL Builder

4

Import web analytics data from GA into a spreadsheet, build queries with Google Analytics dimensions and metrics, apply filters to create advanced queries etc.

Excellent Analytics (free excel plugin)

5

Free tool for conversion funnel tracking. No need to install anything on the website. Integrate well with your GA account.

PadiTrack

6

Chrome extension to verify the set up of GA tracking code

Google Analytics Tracking Code Debugger

7

A fire fox add-on which verify GA installation on a web page

Twistermc’s GA

8

A Google chrome add-on which shows what type (asynchronous, traditional) of Google Analytics Tracking code (GATC) is installed on a web page and whether it is installed properly. This add-on shows green icon in the browser bar only when GATC is detected.

Analytics Helper (NEW)

 9

Google Chrome add-on to copy and paste Goals and filters from one GA profile to another.

 GA Copy and Paste (NEW)

 10

i-phone application to quickly access your Google Analytics data.

 AnalyticsAPP (NEW)

 

Use Google Analytics APIs for fastest Information Retrieval

If you are an analyst of a big organization and you have to manage hundreds of analytics accounts/profiles then you have no choice but to use the APIs provided by Google Analytics to quickly retrieve the information you want. Otherwise you will be spending majority of your time creating and downloading reports through Google Analytics Interface instead of carrying out a fruitful analysis.

Other advantage of using Google Analytics APIs is the flexibility it provides in information retrieval. You can access the information in any format you want. You can easily integrate GA data with your business data and automate complex tasks.  Google Custom reports have limitations when it comes to information retrieval but Analytics APIs have none.

 

Note: I am deliberately using the word ‘information’ instead of the word ‘data’. Information is the data which has been processed in a way that it is meaningful to the person who receives it. Data on the other hand is unprocessed information which won’t help in carrying out any meaningful analysis as it lacks the context. For example PageViews =1250 is raw data and it won’t help in carrying out any meaningful analysis as it lacks the context.

 

Google Analytics provide two types of APIs:

  1. Management API
  2. Core Reporting API

The management API provides read only access to the Google Analytics configuration data like information related to analytics account and website profiles. It does not provide access to the actual report data (data collected by Google Analytics via the tracking code). So you need to use the Core Reporting API to access report data.

 

This post is a part of boost your productivity series which includes the Link Building Tool BoxHow to become a WordPress Ninja in 15 minutesData Scraping guide for SEO and the more recent Excel for SEO – Powerful Cheat Sheet.

Other Posts you may find interesting:

 

 

Himanshu Sharma About the Author: is the founder of seotakeaways.com which provides SEO Consulting, PPC Management and Analytics Consulting services to medium and large size businesses. He holds a bachelors degree in ‘Internet Science’, is a member of 'Digital Analytics Association', a Google Analytics Certified Individual and a Certified Web Analyst. He is also the founder of EventEducation.com and EventPlanningForum.net.

My business thrives on referrals, so I really appreciate recommendations to people who would benefit from my help. Please feel free to endorse/forward my LinkedIn Profile to your clients, colleagues, friends and others you feel would benefit from SEO, PPC or Web Analytics.

 

 

  • http://www.sparkinfosys.com sparkinfosys

    quick and easy learn tips thanks for sharing this will pin it for sure

  • http://www.kaushalam.com/internet-marketing-seo-services.html Kaushalam

    This is best for those working in SEO for large enterprise it needs to constantly look up their traffic and other metric to provide an update to senior.

    • http://www.seotakeaways.com/ Himanshu

      Hi Kaushalam! These shortcuts are good for all SEOs. Even if you have only one website to manage, you can increase you efficiency considerably by using these shortcuts.

  • n/a

    awesome post Himanshu.You have provided all the shortcuts i will ever need to use GA like a true ninja. I agree with you on regex. Though i fear and loath the subject but it is very powerful tool for data mining. I am preparing for my GAIQ test. Do you think information from this post may come handy? Also What should be the level of preparation required for regex in GAIQ. Many thanks.

    • http://www.seotakeaways.com/ Himanshu

      GAIQ doesn’t test your ability to use GA efficiently. It test your knowledge of the various features of GA. For REGEX, you must have at least the basic understanding of how it works.You won’t be asked to write a regex to solve a problem. But you must know what are meta characters and how they are used.

  • NobelRuler

    You surely have great tips on using Google Analytics efficiently. I would love to see more posts like this. One suggestion. If you save your keyword filters as advanced segments then you can filter data from reporting interface even faster.

  • http://digitalmarketingcontest2012seo.blogspot.in lokesh

    useful information about Google Analytics keep posting

  • http://www.thinkaroundcorners.com Gregory Cox

    Niicce. Really nice compilation of tools and tricks, Himanshu. Nothin’ I haven’t seen before, but I KNOW you spent time with that compilation. So, hats off to you. I do like the Site Launcher concept – dope!

  • http://www.moving.com Moving

    Awesome post! Definitely loved the Regex – I’ve never understood them. I’ve bookmarked the “Encyclopedia of Regular Expressions for SEO”.

    Also, I’m not sure but I think the SiteScanGA.com is wrong or the site has changed.

    • http://www.seotakeaways.com/ Himanshu

      Thanks for highlighting the issue.

  • http://roshanjoshi.com.np Roshan

    very extensive. thanks.

  • http://lechlak.com Andrew Lechlak

    Very cool website. I love the shortcut tutorial here. I found it via LinkedIn.

  • http://www.seoguelph.com Adrian

    Great shortcuts, I’ll give it a go!

  • Humayun

    Thanks for this helpful and informative post Himanshu. Will start learning REGEX…..

  • Lav

    Hi himanshu,

    I want to know that is it possible to access the google analytics reports through coding in asp.net web application?

    • seohimanshu

      no